SHIP WITH SUSPECTED EBOLA PATIENTS

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– Owners deny seeking permission to dock in St. Vincent.

 

The owners of a ship that, according to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, sought permission to dock in St. Vincent with two crewmembers suspected of having Ebola on board, have denied that the vessel was scheduled to or asked to dock in the country. In a statement, MOL Tank ship Management (Europe) Ltd., also said the two crewmembers had “symptoms of a chest infection” and had not visited any country where Ebola was present. They said the vessel, a chemical tanker, Noble Spirit, was refused entry into Jamaica and Barbados.

The statement said that on October 9, while the Noble Spirit was en route in ballast from Houston to Equatorial Guinea, the Filipino crewmembers “complained of symptoms of a chest infection” and were treated onboard under advice from Radio Medical Assistance Rome. “CIRM Roma did, however, recommend that they be landed at a convenient port for chest examination and tests. The authorities in Kingston, Jamaica and Barbados both refused to allow the vessel to enter or the crew to disembark. “Noble Spirit subsequently sailed directly to Equatorial Guinea as the two crew members fully recovered after a few days treatment from what was a minor chest infection, while the rest of the crew are all in a healthy condition,” the statement said.

Gonsalves told Parliament on October 24, that around 7:30 p.m. on October 14, he received a call from Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Godfred Pompey, saying that the Noble Spirit was off the coast of Jamaica and was denied entry there because two Filipinos, who boarded at Houston, Texas on October 10, had high fever and vomiting, two of the symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus. Gonsalves said the tanker was scheduled to call at SVG at 11 p.m. that day. Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, said he instructed the Coastguard, the Signal Station and all the relevant agencies that the vessel would not be permitted to enter the waters of SVG.

Extracted and modified from Caribbean 360

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